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Affordable housing by the water tower to open next summer

A 38-unit affordable housing complex is planned to be built by the Sudbury Peace Tower Housing Inc. not-for-profit organization on land donated by local businessman/developer Dario Zulich next to the water tower, which he has separate plans for involving lights and a walkway

The long-discussed affordable housing complex slated to be built next to the Sudbury water tower is expected to break ground this year and open to residents by next summer.

So said project lead Tim Laderoute earlier this week while giving a walkthrough of the site earlier this week, east of the water tower on the Pearl Street hill. 

The 38-unit building will consist of one-bedroom units marked below market rent, and the project will be undertaken by the not-for-profit Sudbury Peace Tower Housing Inc. on land donated by local businessman and developer Dario Zulich.

Toronto-based contractor Element5 will be enlisted to undertake the prefabricated timber build, which will be similar in scope and building type as an affordable housing complex the company built in Kitchener-Waterloo.

The goal is to get the site prepared by the end of the year and for the prefabricated components to be plunked on site and linked together by next summer. Once site preparation work is completed, Laderoute said the building should be able to go up within a month.

The main floor is being planned to accommodate service providers, such as a potential daycare, to help ensure the residents “remain successful,” Laderoute said, and an elevator on the main floor, at the same level as a bus stop, will assist those residents unable to traverse the hill to the upper floors and parking lot to their units. The building will be constructed into the hill’s slope.

This project has been in the works for a couple of years. Similar to Zulich’s direction to rename the water tower the Sudbury Peace Tower in honour of late pastor Jeremy Mahood, the affordable housing complex is being constructed in memory of Mahood.

“I’ve always wanted to do more than just be a businessman, I wanted to give something back to the city,” Zulich told, adding that it’s a project Mahood would have stood behind.

The not-for-profit initiative is anticipated to bring in $5.7 million of provincial funding through the Home for Good program filtered through the city, as well as additional funds through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. 

Although the project shares a similar goal as the transitional supportive housing complex planned for Lorraine Street, the affordable housing complex on Pearl Street is intended to be used as permanent affordable housing.

“This building could house individuals who are successfully transitioning from the Managed Alcohol Program at 200 Larch St. and the transitional supportive housing project being built on Lorraine St.” a city spokesperson noted in email correspondence to, adding that the Home for Good program’s intent is to house people who are at risk of or are homeless.

Of the city’s wait list for affordable housing, approximately 72 per cent of applicants are waiting for one-bedroom units, the spokesperson noted. With only 40 per cent of the city’s community housing stock made up of one-bedroom units, builds such as this are in high demand.

“They just need that hand up, and if we can get some people up into a nice safe and decent facility, and once they’re in there they can have some programs to help get them up on their feet,” Zulich said. 

While Zulich plans on gifting land for the affordable housing complex, he also intends to do something with the long-dormant Sudbury Peace Tower (water tower).

He had planned on doing something with it much sooner, but the Kingsway Entertainment District arena/events centre development he is a partner in dragged on for much longer than anticipated, retaining his attention.

Zulich’s goal is to paint, preserve and spruce up the water tower and add some kind of a walkway system around it, with the area serving as a backyard for both the affordable housing complex’s residents and the broader community.

A lights display will also be tied into the project, he said, with the water tower serving as the “world’s biggest goal light.” It would light up whenever the Sudbury Wolves score a goal. Zulich owns the hockey team. 

“I want it to be on every postcard,” he said of the water tower. “The view up there is unbelievable.”

The water tower property is currently closed to the public.

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for